NUIG’s Teddy Bear Hospital helps over 1,200 kids overcome fear of doctors

Galway Daily news NUIG teddy bear hospital

More than 1,200 stuffed animals were admitted for treatment at NUIG’s Teddy Bear Hospital this week at this delightful annual event organised by students.

Now in it’s 15th year, the Teddy Bear Hospital is organised by NUIG’s Sláinte Society to help young kids from 4 – 8 years old become more comfortable around doctors and hospitals.

The bears coming next week will be accompanied by 1,200 primary school children with their teachers and parents from the 29 schools taking part this year.

Sláinte Soc is NUI Galway’s health promotion society that focuses on promoting all aspects of physical and mental health.

Up to  200 medical, healthcare and science students will be taking part in the event, helping to diagnose and treat teddy bears afflicted with a variety of ailments like sore ears, upset stomachs, and more.

Chloe Ryan, a third year medical student and co-auditor of the society, said “Every year, we strive to treat as many sick teddies from as many different schools as possible”.

She added that they try to create a “fun, relaxed atmosphere so that both children and teddies can feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals.”

On arrival at the Teddy Bear Hospital on campus, the children each have an individual consultation with one of the teddy doctors on call.

The ‘patients’ were then examined by the doctors and received a ‘pawscription’ and referral to surgery or x-ray.

The students had specially designed X-ray and MRI machines on hand for the teddy bears that needed them.

Recovering bears were helped back on their feet with supplies from the Teddy Bear Pharmacy, stocked with healthy fruit from Total Produce and Fyffes, along with medical supplies sponsored by Matt O’Flaherty Chemist.

Along with top notch medical care, the event also featured a bouncy castle and face painting, which honestly might be a welcome addition at any hospital waiting room.

Riona Hughes NUI Galway’s Societies Officer, said the annual teddy bear hospital is always a joy on campus, and congratulated the students who organise it each year.